A week after questions arose over 10,000 voters who registered on election day but whose identity couldn't be confirmed with verification cards, Milwaukee's top election official declared Friday that the number is inaccurate because it is based on an estimate.
Nonetheless, she could not provide an accurate count of how many people registered Nov. 2.
"We didn't have 5,000 people who voted twice," Lisa Artison, executive director of the city Election Commission, told an elections task force. "We did not have 10,000 people who voted who shouldn't have voted."
The 10,000 number was first raised Jan. 14 by state Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale), citing the city's figures showing that 84,000 people registered on election day, though only 73,079 of them could have their registrations processed and confirmation cards sent to them.
At the task force meeting, which Stone attended, Artison stressed that the 84,000 number was an estimate, and then read an extensive dictionary definition of the word "estimate."
She later questioned an "agenda" by critics - including the media - in using the 10,000 number. She and others have said the gap is due to illegible cards, cards with incomplete information or cards that are duplicates, among other reasons.
Reading out an "extensive dictionary definition"? Sounds as though things are getting pretty hostile over there in Milwaukee.